Maitland High School

Maitland High School (abbreviated as MHS) is a government-funded co-educational comprehensive secondary day school, located on High Street, East Maitland, in the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia.

Maitland High School
Maitland High School
Location in New South Wales

Coordinates32°44′58″S 151°35′44″E
Former nameMaitland Boys' High School
TypeGovernment-funded co-educational comprehensive secondary day school
MottoFrench: En Avant
(Go Forward)
Established1884 (1884)
(as Maitland Boys' High School)
Educational authorityNew South Wales Department of Education
PrincipalPaula Graham
Teaching staff72.3 FTE (2018)[1]
Enrolment963[1] (2018)
Campus typeSuburban
  •       Scobie-Hughes
  •       Waddy-Portus
  •       McMullen
Colour(s)Black and white

Established in 1884 as the boys only single-sex Maitland Boys' High School, in 1986 the school collaborated with Maitland Girls' High School, and now both schools are co-educational, with Maitland Boys' High School renamed as Maitland High School, and Maitland Girls' High School enamel as Maitland Grossmann High School. Maitland High School enrolled approximately 960 students in 2018, from Year 7 to Year 12, of whom 15 percent identified as Indigenous Australians and five percent were from a language background other than English.[1] The school is operated by the NSW Department of Education; the principal is a


In 2009, the efforts of the school were recognised by the Department of Education & Training a school achievement award citing the "consistent excellence in Vocational educational program delivery and quality Higher School Certificate educational outcomes".[3]

The school has adopted the colours of black and white, two of the northern region's three representative colours (black, white, red), and its mascot of a magpie, a popular and prolific bird of the area.

The Maitland High Old Boys and Ex-students Union regularly assists the school with donations and scholarships for students.

The school offers a number of vocational education courses in Year 10 to Year 12 relating to various industries, such as hospitality, retail and community services.


The Public Instruction Act 1880 (New South Wales) began a period described as the "great reforms".[4]:Chapter 12 In 1883 the first six state high schools were opened: for boys and for girls at Sydney, Bathurst and Goulburn.[4]:152[5] The following year, in 1884, Maitland Boys High and Girls High were opened.[4]:152[6] The four schools at Sydney and Maitland succeeded but the other High Schools failed to compete with established local private schools and the Superior Public Schools (which did not prepare students for matriculation); at the end of 1886, the two Goulburn schools and Bathurst Boys' High School closed.[4]:153–4 By 1885, the Minister of Public Instruction could report that Maitland Boys’ High School had an average quarterly enrolment of 48 boys and in 1890, 45 (by comparison, Sydney Boys' High had 183 (1885) and 250 (1890); Maitland Girls' High had 15 (1885) and 36 (1890)).[4]:153 Since the High Schools were to prepare students for matriculation, "the University Manual of Public Examinations provided the basis of instruction."[4]:153

The Maitland High Schools served more than just the Maitland community which, in 1888, was numbered at 9,000; boys and girls came by train from nearby Newcastle and its suburbs, which had 27,750 inhabitants in 1888.[4]:154[7] This arrangement continued until 1906 when Newcastle High School opened, the first new state high school since the 1884 opening of the Maitland High Schools.[4]:185 To cater for other students, Maitland Boys’ High operated a boarding house;[4]:154 the boarding house closed in 1969 and the building was re-opened in 1978 as the R.J. Hinder Memorial Library, a collection which had been funded by the Old Boys' Association in honour of former headmaster.[8][9]

The founding headmaster was the capable John Waterhouse who was recruited from Newington College to guide the Boys' High School through its early years;[4]:154 the sister school was not so fortunate: "the first headmistress was dismissed, the second only lasted a short time. Annie Watson, who took over in 1886, proved capable."[4]:154

On 6 June 1891, the foundation stone was laid for a new building for the "High School for Boys at Maitland East".[10][11] The building was completed in June 1892[12] and opened in July 1892.[13]

Co-education and new names

From Term 1, 1987, the Minister for Education directed that the former Maitland Boys High and the former Maitland Girls High were to be co-educational; he announced that the schools would be renamed Maitland High School and Evatt High School in honour of the Evatt family whom he described as "the finest family that Maitland has produced, arguably that Australia has produced".[14][15] The decision caused public controversy and the former Maitland Boys High School was renamed Maitland High School, and the former Maitland Girls High School was renamed Maitland Grossman High School[16] in honour of Jeanette Grossmann who was headmistress of Maitland Girls High school from 1890 to the end of 1913.[17]

Co-curricular activities

Performing Arts

Maitland High School has a number of dance and musical groups that practise regularly and perform at the school and in the local area. The school showcases the talent of the students at the yearly "MADD" (Music Art Drama Dance) night.[3]

Together with 2,500 other students from around the area,[18] students from Maitland High School participate regularly in the Hunter Schools Dance Festival.[3]

Students at the school also take part in the Starstruck event together with around 3,000 other students from around 140 schools in the Central Coast and Hunter regions.[19] Students from Maitland High School support the event in a number of ways, including as backing vocals, band musicians and production crew members.[3]


Maitland High School sends students to participate in a number of competitions in the area at various district and zone events. The school participates in athletics, cross country, swimming, rugby league, cricket and various other team and individual sports.[3]

The following Maitland Boys' High School were awarded "Blues" by the New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association under the system which operated from 1957 to 1980:[20]

1961AthleticsJ Colbourne
1961AthleticsG Ryder
1976CricketMichael Cox
1976CricketR Allen

See also


  1. "Maitland High School, Maitland, NSW: School profile". My School. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  2. "NSW Public Schools – Maitland High School". Enrolment Figures. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  3. "Maitland HS ASR 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  4. Barcan, Alan (1988). Two centuries of education in New South Wales. Kensington, New South Wales: New South Wales University Press. ISBN 0-86840-314-8.
  5. "Historical information". Oldest High Schools. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  6. "Government Schools of NSW from 1848". Establishment Year. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  7. Timothy A. Coghlan, New South Wales Statistician, A Statistical Account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia (1890, New South Wales Government Printer, Sydney) p 18
  8. "HINDER MEMORIAL FUND". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 6 September 1919. p. 9. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  9. Katelyn Bennison, Emma Squires and Indiah Waterson (27 August 2009). "125 Years of Fine Service". The Herald. Newcastle, New South Wales. p. 61.
  10. Paul Maguire, "School's Real Life History Lesson", The Newcastle Herald, 22 March 2001, p 5, "MAITLAND High School Foundation, the school's community support body, has paid $6800 for two historic relics. A mallet and silver trowel with an ivory handle, used when the school's East Maitland foundation stone was laid in 1891, were bought at a Sydney auction three months ago. They were presented to school principal David Hingston yesterday and will be put on display. ... An inscription engraved on the trowel reads: `Presented to the Honourable J.H. Carruthers on the occasion of his laying the Foundation Stone of the High School for Boys at Maitland East, 6th June, 1891'. The school was moved from central Maitland because land there was too expensive."
  11. "Public High School for boys at East Maitland". The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser. NSW: National Library of Australia. 9 June 1891. p. 7. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  12. "The Boys' High School at East Maitland". The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser. NSW: National Library of Australia. 7 June 1892. p. 6. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  13. "The Minister for Public Instruction at Maitland". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 27 July 1892. p. 7. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  14. Answer by Minister for Education to question on notice from Dr METHERELL, Hansard (Legislative Assembly) 48th Parliament of New South Wales, 17 September 1987 p 13840)
  15. Minister for Education, Hansard (Legislative Assembly) 48th Parliament of New South Wales, 7 April 1987 at p 10162, "... There is to be a school in Maitland named after the finest family Maitland has produced: the Evatt family. ... We are talking about the finest family that Maitland has produced, arguably that Australia has produced. ... I am not naming Evatt High School after Dr Evatt, or Clive Evatt who was a former Minister for Education, though either would be enough in themselves to warrant the naming of a school: I am naming that high school after a family, a family that has been intimately associated with the early history of Maitland for a long time.".
  16. Hansard (Legislative Council), 49th Parliament of New South Wales, 16 May 1990 pp 3413-4.
  17. "JUBILEE YEAR". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 31 October 1933. p. 10. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  18. Branley, Alison (30 June 2010). "Hunter Schools Dance Festival Set to Shimmy". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  19. "Star Struck starts with a Bang". The Newcastle Herald. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  20. Bill Collins, Max Aitken and Bob Cork, One hundred years of public school sport in New South Wales 1889-1989 (Sydney, ca. 1990, New South Wales Department of School Education, p180ff)
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